Elkka seems to have an instinctive grasp of the transformative powers offered by club culture. An artist in love with the full spectrum of dance flavours, her own work defies categorisation – as likely to sample arch-folkie John Martyn as the Amen break, there’s a richly emotive vein to her output.
Taking the helm of !K7 long-running DJ-Kicks series, her selection acts as a manifesto for her club ideals. Bringing together some of her primary influences, it boasts some of Elkka’s favourite ever songs, while also nodding to some deep cuts, too.
Painstakingly pieced together, the mix features some all-new Elkka productions and a couple of exclusives, too.
“This is a really special moment for me because DJ-Kicks has been a formative part of my musical education,” she says. “You have to just trust your own feelings. That’s exactly how I do everything – making sure that my music has my DNA in it and I feel connected to it…”
Launching the mix with a special set at London’s Colour Factory on May 4th, Clash invited Elkka to go deep on some of her choices.
Shake – ‘Music Is The Only Way (I Can Communicate)’
I have always used music to express things that I find difficult to put into words myself… I agonised over the first few tracks of this album because the beginning is so important, an opportunity for me to say hi, this is me without me actually saying it.
I was trawling through records that I have without thought always listened to at home, playlists that I have amassed over the years made by me or my partner and this song appeared. Something I had known and loved for so long. This sentiment, of tracks that I had known and loved for many years was a big part of how I put this whole mix together.
I wanted each track to have a purpose and meaning behind them. The title speaks for itself.
Paula Tape – ‘Panamericana’
I really wanted to have an energy at the beginning stages of the album to have a certain groove and feel…something you can dance in your kitchen to, warming you up for whats to come and this song does all of that.
The jittery vocals just speak to me… it’s a classic I have loved for years on one of my favourite indie labels – Rhythm Section!
Omri Smadar, Roy Shpilman – ‘Adama’
So I first heard this song in a pub in Notting Hill while at one of my best mates birthays. I was in the early stages of putting the album together and my ears were firmly open all the time, everywhere I was, trying to seek out music that excited me – new and old.
I fell in love with this song! Shazam’d it immediately and got in touch with Omri to see if I could use it for my DJ Kicks. I played it on my debut at Panorama Bar and it brought the house down.
Pelada – ‘No Hay’
I am not sure where I first heard this song but its just full of raw face slapping energy… I love it! I love where it sits in the mix too moving the energy on but not in a traditional dance music way. That was the joy and challenge of this mix… to find music that pushes and pulls you outside of the genres I normally go to for any other mix I have ever made.
Herbert – ‘KEEP TIME (NOBODY)‘ (Exclusive track – only heard on the mix)
Well… simply put, Herbert is one of my all time favourites, a hero of mine so I reached out in hope and asked if he would consider sending me an original track for my album and I was blown away when he said yes and sent me this!
I am a huge pop music fan and this strange and wonderful slow paced dance record sounds like it has flavours of Britney x Timberland combined! I adore it and feel so honoured to have it debuted on my record. Something I will always cherish.
Surusinghe – ‘Bad Girls’
Without a doubt one of my favourite tracks and EPs of last year! This particular song has been a go to for me since I heard it and the energy provides is so unique and exciting to me. This record is full of old favourites and new ones and this just had to be included as I know its a track I will love now and forever.
Elkka – ‘Hands’
So I wrote ‘Hands’ in my parents house in Cardiff whilst recuperating after a really busy touring period. I was just thinking about all the music I had heard and loved throughout the summer, certain moments that resonated me when I was just in the crowd with my wonderful friends feeling very free and fulfilled… and this song poured out of me.
Monocyclical – Villager (Exclusive track – only heard on the mix)
Villager’s output is honeslty like no other. I first discovered his music through Chloe Robinson who has been releasing his tracks via her own imprint Pretty Weird (which never fails!) and so I approached him for an original track for this record and he sent me about 30?! It was so hard to choose but this one is so wonky in all the right ways.
Mark Pritchard ft Bibio – ‘Give It Your Choir’
This one of the first songs I wrote down on my wishlist of records that I have always gone back to time and time again and mean so much to me personally. I am a huge Mark Pritchard fan and this song is just earth shakingly moving to me. It was always important for me to be able to try cover all of my worlds that I love in this record, not just dance music.
Patty Waters – ‘Why Can’t I Come To You’
The last song, as important as the first, saying things I can’t say out loud myself but can express through the music. This song is full of vulnerability and warmth.
I really wanted there to be femme identifying voices through out this record and represent LGBTQ+ community so to end on this felt so right to me… as it has always reminded me of a time where I couldn’t be myself and didn’t know who I even wanted to be. It’s a haunting song but also reminds me how far I have come… and I am very proud of that.
‘DJ-Kicks: Elkka’ is out now.